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National wants answers from NZ Super Fund after links with Myanmar military revealed

National is attempting to pull the NZ Super Fund in front of a Parliamentary select committee after it was revealed the Crown entity invests in a company that is working closely with Myanmar's armed forces.

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The party has found the NZ Super Fund is investing in an Indian company involved with Myanmar's armed forces, which are engaged in a bloody crackdown on civilians. Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's Government has taken a number of steps including suspending all high level political and military contact with Myanmar, after a military coup has resulted in hundreds killed.

1 NEWS reported last night that New Zealand's Government savings scheme has shares in a controversial Indian company, Adani, that is working closely with Myanmar's armed forces.

Kiwis unwittingly helping Myanmar military through NZ Super Fund

Adani is building a port in Myanmar, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in lease fees to a company run by the military.

National's foreign affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee is seeking the support to pull the NZ Super Fund in front of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee "to discuss the ethical investment parameters they work within".

Gerry Brownlee. Source: 1 NEWS

"As a good international citizen New Zealand has a strong reputation for upholding human rights and it is appropriate for the select committee to seek assurances from these organisations as despite their independence from Government, their decisions can affect New Zealand’s international reputation," Brownlee said. 

"The recent allegation of Super Fund investment in a company associated with military government activity in Myanmar demonstrates the need for parliamentary confidence in the ethical investment decision structure independently exercised by the funds.

"Putting this on the agenda of the select committee is most appropriate."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said today the NZ Super Fund would look at this using an external agent to give them advice on the record of a particular company. 

"With the case of Adani, I would expect that process to kick in. We have written to all of the Crown financial institutions wanting them to carry on and in some cases speed up their work on responsible investment."

Robertson was meeting with the chairs of those institutions in the next week.

A spokesperson for the Guardians of NZ Superannuation told 1 NEWS it was "important to note we don’t reflexively exclude companies when issues emerge".

"We use international experts to monitor the business practices of the more than 6,000 companies the Fund is invested in and engage with individual companies where concerns arise.

"Where companies have not responded to engagement or we consider engagement is unlikely to be effective, the Guardians may consider whether exclusion is an appropriate response."